Angeles Times Names Book Prize Winners
LOS ANGELES, April 30, 2001 The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes presented its prestigious Robert Kirsch Award to noted poet, City Lights publisher and bookseller Lawrence Ferlinghetti, author of "A Coney Island of the Mind" and "What Is Poetry." The Times also presented its first Book Prize in the Mystery/Thriller category to Val McDermid, author of "A Place of Execution: A Novel" (St. Martins Press/Minotaur).
Ferlinghetti, McDermid and eight other Book Prize winners were honored during a 7:30 p.m. awards ceremony held April 28 at UCLA's Royce Hall. Each winner will receive a $1,000 cash award.
Prize-winning author, KCRW-FM commentator and Public Radio International contributor Sandra Tsing Loh served as emcee.
The annual Robert Kirsch Award is presented to a living author whose residence and/or focus is the American West and whose contributions to American letters merit body-of-work recognition. The award is named after the late Robert Kirsch novelist, editor, teacher and one of the nation's foremost book critics who served as The Times' book critic for more than 25 years prior to his death in 1980.
The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, established in 1980, recognize outstanding literary achievements in nine categories: biography, current interest, fiction, first fiction, history, mystery/thriller, poetry, science and technology, and young adult fiction. The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction commemorates the work of the late Times book editor and Book Prize program founder.
The Book Prize winner in each of the eight remaining categories is:
Biography William J. Cooper, Jr., "Jefferson Davis, American" (Alfred A. Knopf);
Current Interest Frances FitzGerald, "Way Out There in the Blue: Reagan, Star Wars and the End of the Cold War" (Simon & Schuster);
Fiction David Means, "Assorted Fire Events: Stories" (Context Books);
History Alice Kaplan, "The Collaborator: The Trial and Execution of Robert Brasillach" (University of Chicago Press);
Poetry Gjertrud Schnackenberg, "The Throne of Labdacus" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux);
Science and Technology James Le Fanu, M.D., "The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine" (Carroll & Graf);
Young Adult Fiction Jacqueline Woodson, "Miracle's Boys" (G.P. Putnam's Sons, Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers); and
Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction Pankaj Mishra, "The Romantics: A Novel" (Random House).
Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalists were selected by eight three-member committees. (Fiction category judges also choose the First Fiction finalists.) Most of the judges are published authors and serve a two-year term. None of the judges, except for the Kirsch award, are Los Angeles Times employees.
There is no nationality requirement for author nominees in any category. With the exception of significant new translations of a deceased author's work, all authors should be living at the time of U.S. publication.
Finalists in each category were:
Mystery/Thriller (category added in 2000)
Science and Technology (category added in 1989)
Young Adult Fiction (category added in 1998)
The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction (category added in 1991)
The Los Angeles Times, a Tribune Publishing company, is the largest metropolitan newspaper in the country and the winner of 25 Pulitzer Prizes. The Times publishes four daily regional editions covering the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Orange and Ventura counties and the San Fernando Valley, as well as an Inland Valley section and a National Edition.